Outside Magazine, April 2009

NOTE: 1/12/2010 Sam was just named YJA Pantaenius Yachtsman of the Year for her being the top British sailor in the 2008/2009 Vendee Globe, it was announced at Trinity House, London, today.

NOTE: I have interviewed Sam several times for The New York Times and she has always been quite positive and playful in her approach to solo sailing. She finished 10th in this fall’s Transat Jacques Vabre aboard Artemis with Sydney Gavignet. She intends to train this year with a full schedule with her eyes keenly focused on the 2012 Vendee Globe. – CJM 1/7/2010

Why I Do It
Samantha Davies
Solo Sailor

By Chris Museler

Mike Horn | Dean Karnazes | Samantha Davies | Ed Viesturs | Shane McConkey | Burt Rutan | Lynne Cox | Christopher Anderson | Fred Beckey | Ben Stookesbury | Tom Brokaw | Les Stroud | Chris Waddell | Roz Savage | Jimmy Chin

Samantha Davies
(Photograph by Jean-Marie Liot)

My grandfather was a submarine commander, and I wear his Saint Christopher medal. I’m sure there’s something in my blood, but it could be just hero worship. Solo racing is so addictive to me. Every day at sea, I wait for the position reports. I’m trying to think and win. Some days I’ll lose 300 miles to a competitor, other times I’ll gain. Those highs and lows are part of the game. Being scared Like brown-trousers scared I know at some point I will be. You have those moments, when the waves are enormous at night. There’s so much adrenaline. You’re alone; you have no option but to get through it. I’m never aching to get back to dry land. Finishing is a bit anticlimactic. I enjoy my little life on my boat. I feel in control.

Davies, 34, took fourth place in the 2009 Vendée Globe, a single-handed, nonstop round-the-world sailing race.